Today we went to the park with some friends from church. The kids love going to the parks (we meet at a different one each Wednesday of the month), and it is so nice to sit, eat lunch, and talk with other adults!
As I was packing up, I looked around for Eleanor but couldn't see her anywhere on the playground. This park has an open walkway out to a little parking lot which then leads to a moderately busy road (lots of cars, garbage trucks today, etc.), and she had earlier "escaped" to follow some friends as they were leaving. I didn't see her on this pathway and kept looking around, hoping to find her on the playground somewhere, maybe obscured by a play structure. No luck.
I asked one of the ladies if she could see Eleanor, sensing myself start to switch into frantic mode. I still couldn't see her so I started heading to the walkway to the parking lot, knowing she must have left the park. Then I saw a woman near the main road holding Eleanor and yelling to me something to the effect of "is this your baby?"
When I saw that woman, I felt like she was an angel, someone sent by God to be there at that exact moment to save my little girl from harm. I have no idea who she was or is or why she was there when I needed her, but I owe that woman so much.
She said something like her son had noticed a little baby trying to cross the street by herself—after taking Eleanor from her, I noticed her car was stopped right there on the side of the road. Maybe she had just been driving by with her son, maybe not even noticing that little person toddling along, and for some reason her son mentioned it and she stopped. She took the time to save my daughter from going across the street and maybe getting killed by someone driving by—it would be so hard to see a toddler in the road when you are driving and not expecting that!
I really believe that Eleanor was watched over and protected today. I wasn't there when she needed me but Heavenly Father was—and He didn't punish me for being distracted and not watching her; He saved her using another child and a mother who was willing to listen to her son and take appropriate action. I hope that I can be more like that mother and more like my Heavenly Father in my dealings with my own children. And I am so grateful that my little Eleanor is safe and sound.